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tv   This Is Life With Lisa Ling  CNN  December 13, 2020 10:00pm-11:00pm PST

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♪ it's one of the fastest growing groups in the country. >> hey, how are you doing? >> thanks for coming. >> you want bacon? >> sure. >> people from all walks of life, young and old, coming together to support each other.
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>> we are from different parts of the world but we fight for the same thing. >> it feels like this club keeps growing and growing. >> yes. >> it is a lifetime membership. >> that's just unimaginable. >> the dues are way too costly. >> you have to go through it to understand it. >> this is a club that is uniquely american. and one that you never want to join. >> how many have to die? one is enough for me. at what point do you realize it is a knock away from your door and this could be your story. ♪ ♪
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>> this is sandy and lonnie phillips. a few years ago, they sole everything they owned and bought an rv. >> it is really pretty out here. >> it would be a lot of fun on a motorcycle. >> you might think they're retirees traveling the country but they're not. they've chosen another line of work. one that keeps them very busy. >> a mass shooting with casualties. >> another shooting. nine people died. >> 11 people were killed. >> 17 people killed. >> 26 people killed today. >> 50 people are dead. >> sandy and lonnie respond to mass shootings, offering support to grieving families and survivors.
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>> hello! >> hey, sandy and lonnie, how are you doing? >> as well as can be expected. >> this is very personal. we see that pain every single day. we see it in our own eyes and we see it in the eyes of everybody that we meet and work with. >> it is a pain that sandy and lonnie know all too well. >> this is a live picture now outside the movie theater in aurora, colorado. >> there have been reports of multiple deaths. >> i still remember turning on the tv and seeing the news. i was in a state of shock thinking about these innocent people just watching movie and a massacre. >> a massacre.
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>> sandy and lonnie's 24-year-old daughter jesse was one of the 12 victims. she had recently left home in texas on pursue a career as a sports reporter in colorado. >> and the game goes to the spurs. >> we were happy to see her growing and flourishing. >> but jessy's promising future was obliterated in a single moment. >> how did you find out what happened? >> my phone rang and it came up with her friend. and i thought why is he calling me? they're at the movie. i took call. i could hear screaming in the background. and he said there is been a shooting. >> i was shocked awake by this gutteral bellowing scream. i thought somebody was attacking her in the house. i had never heard her scream like. that i ran to the living room and she was sliding down the wall screaming, jessie is dead. >> 12 people dead.
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38 injured. one of those who was killed, jessica, 24 years old. >> going through that visual, seeing my daughter trying to hide behind those seats, hearing those gunshots. i'll never get it out of my mind. >> i remember thinking, okay, this wasn't a nightmare. this is my reality. why am i alive and she's not? why couldn't it have been me? i just wanted to die. >> just as they were trying to come to terms with their heart breaking loss, another tragedy rocked the country. >> five months after aurora, we're watching the news and there was a shooting in an
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elementary school in newtown, connecticut. and i just lost it. >> this evening michelle and i will do what i know every parent in america will do. which is hug our children a little tighter. but there are families in connecticut who cannot do that tonight and they need all of us right now. >> adding insult to injury, grieving parents who lost their children were then hit with another outrage. some people dared to question whether the shooting happened at all. >> there is a conspiracy theory that the sandy hook shooting was a hoax. the grieving parents are crisis actors. >> hoaxsters and conspiracy theorists. it was something lonnie and sandy had also experienced. after the aurora shooting, folks on the internet said no one really died. one man harassed their son
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leaving threatening emails. >> you never saw your sister's dead body. >> when somebody says your daughter wasn't killed there. that was all phony. this is not okay. >> we're will '50ized again and again and again. we are blind sided. we had to improvise. call the fbi. what do we do about this guy? >> sandy and lonnie had dealt with the need and conspiracy theorists and now they were able to share that knowledge from sandy hook. >> i knew instinctively, we can help them. >> you knew you had to go there? >> yeah. i remember seeing their faces when i walked in. i said that's what we looked like five months ago. >> when they said it will happen to you and it happened the same way. >> that was a turning point for sandy and lonnie. it was the trial of their daughter's murder would give them a new sense of purpose. >> jurors heard story after story from the victims'
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families. >> i don't know who i am anymore. because i was a mom and now i'm not a mom. >> hearing the testimony of survivors and seeing the devastation that they were living with every day really spoke to both of us. we've said how many of russ there out in this country? and how can we connect with them? >> returning a guilty verdict. >> at the end of the trial, we just decided, this is what i want to do. i want to be able to hold a hand and help people through this initial grief and find the solutions that can help them move forward. >> the couple sold their home so they could hit the road full time. in the at seven years, they've
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responded to 15 mass shootings. >> there is been newtown, there is been santa barbara, there is been parkland. >> san bernardino. santa fe. las vegas. we can name almost all the big ones. and a survivor from every one of them. >> what's the first thing that you say -- >> i know you didn't want to get out of bet this morning. i know you're in shock. and then we start going through finding out how your child was killed. the coroner, dealing with all of that. then the hoaxsters, the people that will raise funds for that you you'll never see. then dealing with the legal aspect, do we have a trial coming up? we mention, push as gently as we can how important trauma therapy is. you say, if and when you're ready, we're here for you. >> today the couple is headed back to the scene of a tragedy.
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a shooting in a pop hard country music bar one year ago. >> out of thousand oaks, 12 people were killed during college night at the border line bar and grill. >> simply enjoying the night out. >> much of the country missed the border line shooting. it came on the heels of the pittsburgh synagogue massacre. and day after border line, massive wildfires raged across california, pushing the shooting even further from the headlines. but the thousand oaks community was in crisis. families and survivors left grieving. now it's the one-year anniversary. one of the hardest milestones. and a couple who lost a son is in need. >> how is susan doing in. >> sandy and lonnie are headed to the family home.
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in the suburbs of thousand oaks, a reunion is taking place. susan and mark lost their 27-year-old son tell in the border line shooting. and as the one-year anniversary of his murder approaches, sandy and lonnie are here to help them cope. >> how is it going? >> there is this profound grief that sits on your soul. but then at the same time there is a huge amount of rage. it's hard. i find myself still struggling at times. and then i remember how to breathe. >> there are days we do not want to get out of bed. there are days when all i can think of is my son laying on the floor at the border line bleeding out and dying. >> for much of his life, tell lived in service to others.
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>> he was an eagle scout, he was in the navy. we loved him with all of our hearts. he was a good boy. a good man. >> over the past two years, mark and susan have endured more than any parent could imagine. before border line, tell lived through one of the deadly he is mass shootings in u.s. history. >> an active shooter -- >> the las vegas sniper attack. >> at least 58 people now dead. more than 500 wounded. >> lightning can't strike twice like this. but of course, we were wrong. lightning can strike twice. no matter who you are, where you live. thousand oaks, one of the quote/unquote safest cities in the united states. two miles from home. that's where our son got killed. it can happen to anybody anywhere at any time.
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>> i keep saying there is no handbook. >> you have forewarned us about everything that would happen. the trolls, the press, everything. we want to forewarn you. and sure enough, everything they said was true. >> what have they meant to you throughout all this? >> they helped us find our voices. just to articulate, this is what it is like. >> they always remind us that we're not alone. sometimes you feel absolutely helpless. you feel like you're doing this all by yourself. >> it takes a long time to go, okay, this is my new life. and this is my new role in this life. but i'm always going to be jessie's mom. everything i do, i do for her to honor her and her memory and her legacy. just like everything you will do will be for tell. >> because of tell.
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they took him. tell was not lost. that boy never got lost. he always knew how to come home no matter what. he didn't pass. they took him. >> you just said they took him. >> yes. >> what do you mean by they took him? >> it was one shooter. to me -- the shooter provided the motive. the gun and ammunition manufacturers provided the means. our government, our senate, our president, our house, our state legislators, they provided the opportunity.
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so to me, they took tell. >> i am a bit of an emotional wreck right now. i was just with two families who lived through one of my worst nightmares. while they're both devastated, they're also really angry because they believe if the same kinds of regulations were applied to guns as are applied to things like driving or getting prescription drugs, their kids might be alive today. in a mass shooting, we hear most about those who are killed. but there is another group of victims. the ones who survived who have to when i have the knowledge that others did not. how do you make sense of that? how do you keep going?
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dylan is one of those survivors. he was also one of tell's best friends. >> tell was my right hand guy. one of the best men i've ever known. i miss him every day. >> it's almost incomprehensible but border line was not the first mass shooting dylan survived. like tell, he was also in vegas. the two had gone to celebrate dylan's birthday. >> it was a big country concert. it was pretty rad. what did it feel like to be 21 in vegas? >> there is no holding me back now. because like you see the lights when you drive up. the city and the signs and stuff and you're like, oh, yeah. we'll have some fun. >> but on the last night of the concert -- >> a horrific shooting on the las vegas strip. police say he opened prior to
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the 32nd floor of the mandalay bay hotel. >> the shooter fired more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition. >> people were running and dropping. >> you hear nothing but screaming. it was like a horror movie that you can't get out of. >> in the chaos, dylan helped others before escaping himself. but 58 people were killed. >> i was a mess. i was more wrapped in my head than i was being grateful. it was a dark place. >> dylan says it was tell who helped him heal. >> i could talk to him, i could cry with him. he was the reason that i could see the light in the dim, dark place. >> in the months of a the
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shooting, the border line bar became a haven for dylan, tell, and other survivors. >> the place was fun with tell. no matter what was going on in why are life, it was an escape for everybody. it was like a family. >> with the one-year anniversary of vegas behind them, dylan and tell were beginning to rebuild their lives. but then in early november, minutes after this photo was taken, tragedy struck again. >> they're shooting at a bar in thousand oaks, california. >> at what point did you realize you were in the middle of another mass shooting? >> by like the third shot. pretty much that quick. like just pretty much throw my hands up in the air and just like, here we go again.
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>> when did you find out who had been killed? >> the next morning. it was the longest morning of my life. >> when you heard tell's name? >> that was the worst feeling ever. how could he have made it out of one and not make it out of this? i lost my best friend. >> 12 people were killed that night. eight of them were dylan's close friends. >> so tell obviously, justin, noel, shawn, jacob blake, mark and christina. pretty damn good people. every single one of them.
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>> in the wake of las vegas, dylan shut down. in the aftermath of border line, he found himself reaching out to other survivors. >> sometimes i try to just get out a quick men saying there are others. i want people to know that there is someone who understands and is willing to talk. >> dylan is channeling his grief into action. today it will be hard to ignore his own pain. it's the one-year anniversary of the shooting and the entire town is gathering to honor those who were killed. >> may we continue to be thousand oaks strong. for 175 years, new york life has been helping people act on their love. so they can look back and say,
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so today is the year anniversary of the shooting at the border line bar and grill in thousand oaks. the city is not letting it go by quietly. tell's parents, mark and susan, were here for a family ceremony this morning. they left town because they were so overwhelmed. it's pretty moving to see how many people in this community have come out to remember those who were killed. >> we meet in this beautiful garden to honor precious lives taken from us one year ago. we are not moving on. we are moving forward. one step at a time.
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>> you have to go through it to really understand it. border line affected me here. i'll never stop thinking about it. i never want to. ♪ you might think it will never happen to you ♪ ♪ it's something you only see on the news ♪ ♪ >> it's like you're wearing a weight around your ankle. and that weight will always be there. ♪ a small town with big heights on the border line of heaven ♪ >> standing here among hundreds of people all trying to heal from the will same tragedy and not knowing if they can, literally makes my heart ache. ♪ memories will get us through
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♪ this is our home [ applause ] >> there was a moment i felt dylan's arm around my shoulder. and i just kept thinking to myself, dylan is comforting me. and i started to feel almost enraged because he's this 23-year-old young man and his life has been changed forever because of this. and all of these people here, the community will never be the same. >> but from all the grief and the ashes of loss, something remarkable is growing here. a network of survivors and families coming together to lift each other up. >> hi! >> how is it going?
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>> i've heard so much about you. you've joined a club that you can't resign from. now we're all in this together. >> what you give to the next survivor matters. >> thank you for doing our work others here in thousand oaks. >> everyone has to do their part in some way. >> yes. but you're young and you're still healing. you're doing the work already. proud to know you. >> you take the effort to go meet that person and go and hold their hand. that person will take the effort to hold the next hand. pretty soon you have a real healing machine. >> this is how we connect. one by one by one. >> at the end of the day -- for the border line crew, healing means not forgetting what brought them together in the first place.
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>> i love you, too. >> i want people to realize in this big community of amazing individuals, we're all affected we can show strength. >> one year after the music was silenced. they brought the borderline back. >> we will lift up those 12 names. and we will remember the good. we're still here and we're still standing. and with love, we will conquer hate. >> in the wake of a horrific event, i've witnessed an entire town come together in support. but there are places in america where people are shot and killed
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almost he have day. >> since friday night there have been 32 shootings. >> seven killed over a single august weekend in chicago. >> how can you begin to heal when you live in a kill zone? this is not just a cream it's the first serum cream garnier creates new serum cream the power of a serum, the moisture of a cream, and the protection of an spf 30 3 products in 1 bottle, 1 step choose vitamin c, hyaluronic acid, or niacinamide formulas that are clean and vegan for glowing, healthier-looking skin in just 1 step new garnier green labs serum cream by garnier, naturally! and ask your doctor about biktarvy. biktarvy is a complete, one-pill, once-a-day treatment used for h-i-v in certain adults. it's not a cure, but with one small pill, biktarvy fights h-i-v
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every week that passes without a mass shooting on the news, we breathe a sigh of relief. but it doesn't mean no lives have been lost. in cities like chicago, gun violence claims at least one victim almost daily. we just don't hear about it. but the aftermath is the same. >> it's easy could be a christian when things are going good. r when you have a tragedy, but that is when you get tested. thank you for the food. >> they were overprotective parents. they thought filling their kids' lives with sports and school would shield them from the violence. >> we ask all these thing in your name.
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tell me about terrell. >> he was always smiling. jolly. >> the performer, entertainer. he just lit up the room. >> shot in the chest and later, he died at the hospital. >> the 18-year-old musician was helping bring instruments into the church before choir practice last night when a gunman opened fire. >> tell me about the day that terrell was killed. >> i just remember the doctor coming out. he started talking in the past tense. and i finally said, are you trying to tell me my son didn't make it? >> he said yeah. that's what i'm trying to tell you. >> that was 14 years ago. but today, the grief is just as fresh. >> i can't believe this happened to me.
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asking god why, why, god? it's too much. for all of us, it was a struggle. our house went silent without music for years. >> compounding the family's grief, terrell's case remains unsolved. and the injustice of his death still haunts pam. >> the police spent probably the first week to find out what kind of kid he was, gang or related? they finally came back and said we can't find anything they took week to find out his character. the perception is always gang related. my son wasn't in a gang. he wasn't selling drugs.
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he was in college. he was very active. and then next thing you know, he's dead. there are so many good young men out here doing the right thing and their lives are taken. >> every time that happens, don't you sort of relive that trauma? >> in chicagoering with never get to heal. healing is not coming to us. he time we turn our news on, it is another shooting. we live in day-to-day present trama. >> how can this happen? why is gun violence so out of control here? poverty, unemployment, underfunded schools and racism all play a role. in the 90s, mass arrests of gang leaders forced low level clicks into new neighborhoods where they battle for control and innocent victims like terrell get caught in the cross fire. >> after terrell was murdered, even though i was hurting so bad, i knew i had to do something. >> fueled by a desire for justice, they quit their finance
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jobs to work on advocacy. will pap began to reach out to other families who felt abandoned bay law enforcement. >> how are you? >> i'm all right. >> sorry about your loss. >> eight months ago, her 18-year-old daughter was murder tad busy intersection in broad daylight. >> someone shot my baby. wrong place wrong time. where is the right place? she was leaving school. >> what does it mean to you to have these parents here who are destroying to support you? >> we have to support each other. >> people don't understand until it actually happens to them. nobody is exempt from it. >> today these moms have joined forces to candle vast the neighborhood where dariana was killed. >> we'll take one side of the street. you take another. >> the chicago police department had a banner year clearing
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murder cases but still close to 50% remain unsolved. including katina's daughter. >> what do you home to achieve? >> for the people to know what happened. speak out and say something so we can get this case solved. we finally reached the corner. where her daughter was killed. >> she did not deserve this. >> you've kind of become the go-to person for families that are grieving. >> i did not want to be this. since i'm here i'll support other mothers. when it happened to me, didn't have anybody. i had nobody so i want to be the
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one to let them know, they can make it. without national media attention. they form >> without national media attention, chicago's residents have to form their own opportunity, with the, while pam is doing what she can to help families, another under expected victim of gun violence is trying to change the country. turning his rage into activism. >> the culture says, you need a gun to be strong. no, you don't. you've got to reject the culture. tonight, i'll be eating a veggie cheeseburger on ciabatta, no tomatoes.. [hard a] tonight... i'll be eating four cheese tortellini with extra tomatoes. [full emphasis on the soft a] so its come to this? [doorbell chimes] thank you. [doorbell chimes] bravo. careful, hamill. daddy's not here to save you. oh i am my daddy.
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on the south side of chicago -- >> so often i hear people say things like, i want a gun to be safe. >> a controversial priest has made fighting gun violence one of the cornerstones of his ministry.
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>> don't come in here and tell me god is your peace, your joy, your protection. but you want to have a gun just in case god is sleeping. either god is your protection or not. >> father michael has been the pastor of st. sabina church for over 40 years. >> this part of chicago has been incredibly dangerous over the last five, six years. to what do you attribute that? >> your communities have no resources, you see the neglect and abandonment. as you create communities of homelessness. -- hopelessness. if you had that kind of neglect and abandonment in any other community in the city for a generation, you would find the same kind of violence. we want to put in more police and impose control but not deal with the roots of the issue. and until we do that, everything is a band aid. >> i see will pam over there. how many of you have lost a loved one to violence?
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somebody close to you. >> she knows with a pam and dozens of others have gone through. because he, too, suffered a loss. >> when my son was killed -- >> after adopting two sons, he fostered a boy, jarvis. 16 year-old. >> jarvis had a smile that could light up a room. a fun-loving, excited kid. i watched his whole life turn around. in 1998, three blocks from the church, jarvis was killed by stray bullets. >> i was angry. i was mad at god. i said, if i go on, it will be to fight this violence with a new intensity of the until when my son was killed to this day, i've never found who killed him. i had to get free from that. to say, alley going to continually be angry about what happened to me?
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or move forward and try to help another child from being killed? >> it's saturday morning on the south side of chicago. all those people in that long line behind me are all in possession of firearms. and that's because they are participating in a gun trade-in program being organized by the church and police. >> number 31. >> in exchange for weapons, owners received $100 gift cards from the city. no questions asked. >> thank you. have a good day. >> why did you come to the gun trade-in today? >> i don't want to it get in the wrong hands. i have two grandchildren get shot and i've had two nephews killed. there's just too many deaths. >> you think programs like this make the streets any safer?
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>> i think every gun could be used to shoot someone. the moral compasses of society are not doing the catholic church is real big on right to life. this is right to life, getting guns off the street. >> each state has different gun laws. illinois' are so instruct, most of these guns were purchased out of state. >> i can get in my car and drive 20 minutes to indiana and get whatever i want. we can have all the laws we want here in chicago. until we deal with right from the faucet this flow of guns, until we do that, it's an uphill battle. >> without federal gun laws in place, father flauger feels he must do this.
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♪ >> this little boy. >> it's so sad. >> to show the devastating impact of gun violence, pam helped create this interactive memorial in chicago. families come here to place artifacts commemorating their loved ones. >> baby shoes. >> once complete, every single opening will hold memories from a life lost. >> they were so young. >> from columbine to parkland, from new york to chicago. >> you think you would see something like this in a place where there was a horrific genocide or a war zone. but this is america.
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probably barely scratches the surface of all the people have been killed, barely. >> mm-hm. that's right. i'm hoping people walk through and see that our children, they had lives. >> today, pam has invited friends to bring mementoes of their own. a couple she first bonded with at a gun violence rally after sandy hook. >> hey. >> so glad to see you. >> i'm so glad to see you. come on in. this is our house, girl. >> this is our house. >> this is our house. some parents you bond with, and sandy and lonnie, we bonded with them. >> they're good people. >> we're from different parts of the world, but we're fighting for the same cause. >> same cause. and the love they have for their daughter is the same love we have for our son. >> right next to them, our
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babies together. >> you want to place it? >> sure. >> perfect fit. >> i think so too. >> none of us want our babies forgotten, you know? and this is a bay of saying they're -- they're here. >> yeah. >> though these two women come from different worlds, one a victim of a mass shooting, the other of urban gun violence, they are inextricably linked. part of the same club united in the same fight. >> together -- >> together. >> -- we can end gun violence. >> we can end gun violence. >> we are calling for congress to do your job and pass common sense gun laws. >> today people from all across the country have come together to make their voices heard. >> we need central legislation. ban assault weapons. demand universal background checks. >> do you think that if jesse
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had died for any other reason, if she had gotten sick, been in a car accident, you would be on the same kind of crusade? >> definitely not. >> yeah. >> to lose a child in any way is devastating, but the violent nature, the slaughter of innocent people, it's one of those things you know could be ended. >> no more dividing! stand together as one. mass shooting is no different than what's in our neighborhoods. every blood is red. >> we're fighting for the same reason. it doesn't matter where you live, where you're from. we all have the same issue. it's a gun violence issue. so, we have to unite together to end gun violence. >> this is not a black or white issue. this is an issue that affects us all. >> how long can you do this? >> until we can't. we want to live long enough to see some real change happen.
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>> you airrespective of where y fall on the gun issue, increasing numbers of people are getting affected by gun violence. whether they're mass shootings, whether they're random street shootings, this community of survivors and family members is just continuing to grow and grow. and it's heartening that so many of them are aligning together to support one another. it's really moving in fact. but it's -- it's a club that i hope i never join. but these days, you just never know.
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-- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com hi. welcome to our viewers joining us here in the united states and all around the world. thanks for joining me. you're watching cnn. i'm robyn curnow. just ahead, special delivery. millions of doses of the coronavirus vaccine on the way to dozens of facilities in all 50 u.s. states. another wave of the virus hitting south korea hard. now its president is warning tough restrictions could return. and in just a few hour's time the electoral college will certify the results of the u.s. election, putting the final touches on joe biden's victory. president trump remains in a state of denial.

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